Saturday, January 13, 2007


I am reluctant to post this so soon after the launch of this blog, for fear that readers will come to the conclusion that I am nothing but a hopeless crank (rather than a clever and sophisticated guide to all things M&A) but, after all, hopeless cranks can't help themselves, can they?

A polite suggestion to all would-be writers: USE A DICTIONARY!

I can't stand it when someone who should know better mangles the English language in print in an attempt to sound clever and sophisticated, particularly with a malaprop derived from French. My two favorite (?) examples from the scribblings of various investment bankers I have been privy to are "cache" and "marquis," as in "This company has true cache" and "This is a marquis deal."

No, no, no, Mr. Ambulance Chaser. What you should have written is "This company has true cachet" or "This is a marquee deal." Unless, of course, you mean to say your company has "a hiding place for treasure, provisions, ammunition, etc." or your deal is somehow connected to "a foreign nobleman ranking between a duke and a count." Now, were either of these latter statements true, you might actually attract more attention from your intended audience, the buy side, but from my experience something so unusual or interesting is rarely the case.

Also—although I cannot prove this as a rule—the use and misuse of such words seems to increase the higher up an investment banker rises in the dealmaking firmament. After all, I suppose one cannot expect Mr. Division Co-Head to pay attention to such trivialities as proper English usage when he is concerned about making his next mortgage payment on the East Hampton mega-mansion.

Having now unburdened my chest of this particular chestnut, I fully expect you Dear Readers to call me out for the inevitable inaccuracies and shameful mistakes I expect to make in writing this blog. Let the flaming begin!

© 2007 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.